Wayne Swan
Wayne Swan Chrissy Harris

Newman accused of being 'disloyal'

ACTING Prime Minister Wayne Swan has rebuked Queensland Premier Campbell Newman, accusing the Liberal National Party Leader of being "disloyal" and "reckless".

Mr Newman came under fire last week for describing Queensland as "bankrupt" and the "Spain of Australia".

Undeterred, he used question time on Tuesday to continue painting a grim picture of Queensland's economy.

Mr Newman was asked if he stood by his bankruptcy claim, even though the Queensland Treasury Corporation had described Queensland as having a "strong and stable public finances".

"I can go to any number of charts and graphs in the Queensland Treasury Corporation book which back up my comments last week which was a wake-up call for Queenslanders that this state has the most diabolical financial situation for the public sector of any state in the Commonwealth of Australia," Mr Newman said.

Mr Swan seized on the comment, insisting Mr Newman was undermining confidence and "making life harder for Queensland businesses".

"Such comments are reckless, disloyal, but also pre-meditated," Mr Swan wrote.

"Mr Newman's campaign to tear down the state economy is simply a bid to justify the mass sackings he told Queenslanders wouldn't happen."

The State Government announced its latest savings measure on Tuesday, with about 2000 jobs to go from the Department of Transport under a major restructure.

Mr Swan admitted a combination of the global financial crisis and natural disasters had hurt the Queensland economy.

"But businesses expect Mr Newman to support confidence and consumer sentiment, not smash it to pieces," the statement read.

The Member for Lilley pointed to the state's AA+ credit rating and 5.3% unemployment rate as proof its finances were sound.

"The facts are clear for all to see. To compare Queensland to Spain would be laughable if it wasn't so potentially damaging to the state's prospects," he said.

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